I should've posted this long time ago during Easter season but I never had the chance to do it. Nope, we don't have kids (just yet) to munch on these sweeties. This was given to me by my husband's boss and the office for my welcome dinner. It was really nice of them to plan out a dinner for me (finally coming here) and part of it my husband's 3rd year in their office. It was great! I met such wonderful people and we had a very nice Italian dinner. It was potluck and I made Chianti braised beef. Others made pasta salad, veggie salad, lasagna, cheeses, breads, wine & beer, cakes and some tasty pastries. Everybody loved the beef dish, thank goodness! I had to check a restaurant's recipe to come up with an Italian dish. Thinking most of them would make pasta and breads, I chose to cook some meat. My husband had to approve the dish so I made a practice dish to see if it's good enough for our taste.

The Easter basket is really cute especially the popcorn packed like a huge carrot! I love the chocolates (of course!) wrapped in carrot and bunny form. Too bad the bunny chocolates melted and got deformed during those days we experienced heat wave here. I was even planning of taking photos of it unwrapped! The Easter pasta on the other hand is quite colorful and one of a kind. Pasta shaped as bunny and decorated easter egg, wow it's an art! Speaking of which, this qualifies a spot for the food designs. ;D
How do you prepare for special occasions? Let me see.... gifts? cards? maybe dine in fancy restaurant?

All these are really nice to give and do for such occasions but more importantly, sharing and celebrating it with your special someone. That's what I believe in. It makes a lot more meaningful and special when both share the same feelings.

Now, how I do it?

I still do it the traditional way! I'll start with the card, I got this days before and of course hid it somewhere. I like it when I find cards with exact words that I want to tell the person I'm giving it to. It's very convenient, I don't need to write that much! Lazy, yeah I guess. It will just depend if I'm having the "letter writing mood" or not. I'm not the type to say mushy stuff so this card does it all for me. No sweat!

What's next? Preparation.

I sneaked going to the grocery one time without him then looked for something I can prepare for dinner. Something I don't always cook and goof for a special occasion. I was so happy to find a good big chunck of beef chuck steak. That solves my dinner plans. He loves steak and even bought his special steak sauce doing our grocery one time. I didn't tell him anything about my plans for that day so he was clueless about it. I don't usually bake so I thought making brownies would make a good dessert.

Not mentioning anything about the dinner meal, he thought of making sandwiches for us. He told me about it few days before. That will be his sweet labor. I just said it's ok but I'm chuckling inside because it never came to him that I have something cooking already at the back of my head. He then shopped for his own ingredients but I had to prepare everything so that he can just make the sandwiches when he comes home from work.

I managed to finish all the cooking and baking by the time he's home. He has a little surprise of his own handing me these roses. He's not the type to give presents or flowers every now and then making this gift a lot more special.

Dinner time!!!

Here's the steak that I made garnished with some celery, sliced button mushrooms, onions and tomato topped with steak sauce. I only cooked 1 meat for both of us because it's really big. That aluminum pan's size the same as the placemat so just imagine.

Here's his special sandwich. He loves eating this sandwich since he was a kid. It's like a spanish version of bacon with veggies. Papa (his dad) who is a Latino introduced this tasty treat to him. It's very basic with crispy bacon strips, lettuce, tomato slices, onions, mayo, mustard and AVOCADO. Cheese is optional, he omitted it this time.

The brownies completed his meal. Haha, I'm too full to even have a bite. I hardly finished my steak, he was right to say that it's a very big meat. I had to set aside the fresh fruits, no more space to squeeze in. We're stuffed and we're good! We enjoyed our time together even just dining at home.

We'd love to go to the restaurant to celebrate but it's way too tiring heading out after a day's work. Perhaps this weekend will be another food feast... al fresco overlooking the bay!
(photo taken at Boracay Island, Philippines May 2007)

"The difference between courtship and marriage
is the difference between the picture in the seed catalog
and what comes up."

-James Wharton-

A Recipe in Marriage

A good marriage has a blend of many ingredients
as two lives become one,
and only grows stronger and more resilient
with the passing of time.


1. All marriages face times of stress.
In your marriage, what factors are in place which help you face difficult times?

2. What areas of your marriage need help?

3. How long has it been since you and your mate
had a weekend together with no interruptions and no kids present?

I want to share this book I'm reading which was given by my bestfriend before I left home and my godmother before I got married. The book is about making marriage work by Harold Sala. For those who are in a relationship and those who are married, this might be helpful to keep your connection tight with your partner. As you read through the post, take time to reflect and assess yourself. Feel free to express your views about this article.
Black and White is one of my favorite way of giving a deep meaning to a photo. Seeing it plain without any vibrant colors and enhancements, I look more into the whole photo. It gives me a better connection and sentimental feeling. I'd like to share this one, as I've been tagged by Monica!

} Start Copy

"A good Snapshot stops a moment from running away."

When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls! ~Ted Grant

} End of Copy


Copy the quotes above from start copy to end Copy.
Replace the Photograph with your own or your loves ones’ Black and White captured moments that you want to cherish for the rest of your life.

All my blogger friends, you're all tagged!

Few months after birth, Elisse finally steps into the Christian world. I had to handle the restaurant reservation and that kept me busy. Ocular and endless phone calls had to be done before finalizing the reservation. Nothing really hard to do but being out from 7:30am til 8:00pm (about 3hrs travel and office time) gave a little bit hardship to the simple task. Office hours were done by the time I get home so I had to sneak on my lunchtime to do all the inquiry. After getting settled on the reception, I moved on my next assignment.... the thank you photos.

I thought it would be nice to give away these thank you souvenir photos to the guests so I started working on it and gave the designs to my brother. I gathered all of Elisse's baby photos (1st-3rd month) and downloaded photos of cute baby in animal costumes. I originally wanted lion and bee but Elisse's photos can't be photoshopped accordingly. Good thing I've been taking pictures of Elisse everytime I get a hold of her, that gave me the best options for the costumes.

I'm not a professional photoshop user, it's usually a spur of the moment when I feel the urge to some photoshop works. There's no way I can perfectly edit these photos so I just tried my best finishing the designs. I had fun working on it, all for Elisse! I'm just so attached to this girl that I would want to do everything for her.

Now that Elisse is 2yrs old, she gets to acknowledge these fun photos of her. At times I'll hear her say "Penguin Elisse" then giggles whenever she sees her picture in my room. I hope I'd still get to do more of these perhaps with my babies.

Among the four designs, I like the penguin and the kitty with the cage. Which one is your favorite?

In 0ur culture, Holy week is a long holiday off from work. The whole family goes to Grotto every Black Saturday (Sabado de Gloria) and then off to Laguna hot springs or other swim places. It has been that way since I was a kid. I grew up going to Grotto, praying as we stop on every station of the cross then after buy all sort of food as pasalubong or just something to munch along our travel. My husband was able to join the family at least twice and we really enjoyed it. Same tradition continued for them but not for us. Black Saturday was still a busy day for us here so I just read the booklets I got from the church and we prayed the rosary together before bed... the rosary my mom gave on the day of our flight. It felt good! Me and my husband felt even closer after the rosary, like it's a bond keeping us tighter together.

I have no idea how other cultures celebrate the Holy Week and this is my first time being immersed in such. I'm okay missing the family tradition, it's inevitable. Now that we're settled so far from them we just have to keep the tradition alive in our ways. Through that it feels like nothing's changed. I already have their photos for that day, looking at it will be part of our joy and memories.


I was a little bored that day so I decided to check the mailbox and soak a bit under the sun. It's been so cold lately due to the frequent rain showers. Having my first spring here isn't bad at all. In fact, I'm enjoying it because most plants are in full bloom already. I get to play with our camera once I step out of the house. Seeing all the neighborhood's flowers is such a nice way of de-stressing for me. Always being in front of the computer doing all my works or doing house chores, really tiring at times. Nope, no maids here unlike there back home where I can always just do my works without worrying about chores.

As I was getting the mails, I got attracted by all those beautiful roses by the front lawn of the apartment complex. I was never into roses or any other flowers but I love seeing such lovely blooms. Everything was of different colors! I rushed back upstairs to get newspapers (the thorns are sooo big I can't just hold it) and scissors. Luckily nobody's around and I was able to get all the roses without shying away from people.

Finally I had something else to do!

It was a challenge arranging the flowers because we didn't have any regular vase. I made use of the display vase we have by the window. No choice but I was able to make it work. Doing this flower arrangement made me miss my dad. Every all souls day, we'll make a flower bouquet or basket to bring to the tombs of my grandparents. My dad's very good with that, so talented in arts and crafts. It was fun, I got pricked several times but it's worth the work. My husband didn't notice it right away but his sister (who came to stay a bit for a visit) did. She said it's lovely. I admit, seeing all the roses arranged in the vase made me appreciate it's beauty. The colors added more life to the house.

I like the light and bright colored roses, never liked red roses. I don't know why but I find it really heavy on my eyes. Which rose do you like most and how will you have it arranged if you were to do it?


A lot of people might raise their eyebrows and ask what's with the title. The truth, it's not actually just Popeye's or the meal itself but for the sentimental reason behind it. I admit it tasted really good, a bit spicy but tolerable. The fries cooked with nice crunchy breading so as the chicken strips and the best of all is the mashed po's gravy. That's the first time we ever had that kind of gravy.

So what really made this meal so great?

Me and my husband shared this meal during our stop-over in Hongkong Airport. The plane didn't serve us a filling lunch maybe because of the short flight from Manila to Hongkong so by the time we unboarded we're quite hungry (@2pm). After being settled for our next flight, I walked around the airport mall area and found places to eat there. My husband on the other hand stayed behind to watch over our hand carries so I ended up just getting the meal for us. That's our first long flight making that meal as our first to share as we start our journey together.

I don't know if other people will fully understand the sentiments of this post and I respect it whether they liked it or not. Everybody has their own food story, funny, horrible, sweet, fun, bizarre or one of a kind.... feel free to share yours. It's nice to know how others enjoy such simple things in life too.

I promised Elisse that before we leave, we'll get her a rabbit. That didn't happen since my brother saw this cutie on his way home and bought it on hand. My husband and I think leaving too much pets there will be a bit more of work for mom so we decided not to get another one anymore. Elisse first named the rabbit "Rabbit". Hehe, what do you expect from a 2yr old? She's pretty sure it's a rabbit so she wants to call it "Rabbit". Given her tough attitude, she won't give in just like that to any other name suggestions. We had to catch her good playful mood for us to suggest a name which is "Banyang". Sounds funny? There's a relevance and meaning to the rabbit's name and we're all good with it. I wonder how big Banyang is right now, it's been more than 2 months since we settled here. Mom told me the rabbit eats alot and can finish a whole big carrot. I think Banyang's about a foot long now.

There will be more of Banyang and Elisse but I'll save it for my other posts. Seeing their cute photos make us smile. Remembering those times we played and chased them on the roofdeck. Memories and lots of memories.
I was trying to look for a certain photo that i want to post but I saw this one which is very memorable for me. I personally made these invitations, the design, concept....all from raw materials put together with hours and days of labor. It's worth all the hard work. everybody loved it. I had some hand with my bestfriend who came over one night to our place and we just worked together. Being so meticulous with my personal stuffs, nobody really insisted help in our family. Of course it could've been faster with some help but there's no room for mistakes. It's not the first time I designed and made wedding invitations, I gave it as a gift to my mom&dad and grandma&grandpa's renewal of vows and worked on some. I just don't have pictures of those. Hopefully when I go back home, I'll get to document those as well.

It wasn't easy doing the invites by myself and it wasn't hard because I enjoy this kind of craft. After work I rush home and travel about 2hrs then start working once I reach home. I'll get all my materials and bring it to my parents' bedroom and assemble everything there. Knowing I have to do it and nobody else can, I was able to finish everything with a smile and a little "burn" souvenir on my leg. As I was putting everything together, the melted glue stick dropped somewhere. I panicked because I didn't want to mess my parents' wood parquet flooring. I tried looking for the glue but couldn't find it anywhere but my leg! It was painful when I took it out of my skin because it also took out a chunk of it. I didn't feel it right away because the temperature made my skin numb enough for me not to feel anything. I got a good scolding from my bestfriend. She said I wasn't too careful. Who wants to burn her own skin just a few months before the wedding? I understand her though, she felt bad that the scar would show like a spot on my fair skinned leg.

My design concept was simple & elegant using native materials. What do you think?
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